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Every day, hundreds of people attempt to start an online business, yet most of them never find the success they hope to achieve. It’s not because it’s impossible; many entrepreneurs have built successful online businesses. Here’s a look at the top five reasons so many fail.

Chasing after Fool’s Gold

There are thousands of opportunities online, all promising to show people how to get rich quickly and with little effort. Some of them will even set it up for you — for a nominal fee, of course. All you have to do is buy the book or the system, go through the step-by-step process, and then sit back and watch the money start rolling in.

No push-button system or magic formula is going to make you rich in a week, or even a month. Building a profitable online business takes work, time, and money. If you don’t have a lot of time, it’s going to take more money to get the help you need to build it, and if you don’t have a lot of money, it’s going to take a lot more of your time and hard work.

To put it simply, if you’re not ready to commit your energy and resources, then you’re not ready to build an online business. Don’t buy into the something-for-nothing hype. Instead, save your resources and use the little time you have to gain more knowledge about the industry. When you’re ready, you’ll be prepared to make the right investment in building a profitable online business.

Following the Wrong Crowd

Of the hundreds of people who sign up every day to begin their journey to becoming a successful internet-preneur, some will make it. However, many more will fail, and they’ll all have a story to tell. But that’s not what you’re looking for; you want knowledge.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t follow the up-and-comers. After all, some of them may even be the next big success online. They’ll be able to show you everything they’re learning along the way. However, you’re not investing your time and money to learn what others are learning. You’re doing it to learn what others know.

If you’re not following the leaders, influencers, and those who have proven their success, you’re setting yourself up for a lot more trial and error than is necessary. Consequently, you may find yourself spending more money than you make. Be sure you’re paying attention to those who can show you proof, and how to replicate it, not just take you on their journey.

Being Overwhelmed with Too Much Information

With so many people claiming to know the way to online success, it’s hard to know which direction you should go. There are 101-plus ways to start an online business; just learn it all and you should be good to go, right?

The problem here is that too much information is just that — too much. When you reach the point of information overload, you will be left burned out, confused, feeling hopeless, and ready to call it quits. That ambition you had when you started will become a smoldering pile of defeat. Too many people give up on their online dream because they’re overwhelmed. It doesn’t have to end that way for you.

There’s a simple solution here: stop thinking you need to know everything. You don’t need it all, you just need what’s going to work for you now. If your head is constantly turning toward one more something-or-other, you’re not going to be focused on the path you need to follow to reach your destination. Find the system and the tactics you need now, and leave the rest alone. You can get to the other stuff once you’ve mastered your current objective. Until then, stay focused and don’t overwhelm yourself.

Lack of Genuine Commitment

If your reality, expectations, and efforts are not in sync, you’re going to be wholly disappointed. In fact, lack of genuine commitment is one of the biggest reasons so many fail online. Commitment is so much more than just saying you’ll get this or that done. It’s about acknowledging your personal reality and knowing what it’s going to take to reach your goals.

Committing to building an online business includes finding a way to work around all the obstacles you’re presented with. These can include having kids, holding down a full-time job, having a tiny bank account, dealing with a physical ailment, or taking care of someone with an ongoing sickness.

Being faced with a major obstacle (or several) will make focusing on your business more challenging, frustrating, and time-consuming, and you’ll be pushed to your limits. Even without obstacles, there will be setbacks, trials and errors, and money lost. You must be willing to accept this and do whatever it takes to soldier on.

Choosing the Wrong Niche

Do something you love and you’ll never work a day, so the saying goes. While it’s tempting to accept the sentiment as truth, not everything you love is profitable. On the other hand, choosing something you have no real interest in could leave you uninspired, unmotivated, and completely discouraged.

There are several things to consider when choosing a niche to build your business on. It has to:

. have a big enough audience to be profitable.

. be something people want.

. be something you can become an expert and leader in.

. be something that can continually be developed.

. have a level playing field and not be over-saturated with competition.

You can choose something you love as long as you’re knowledgeable and it has the capacity to be profitable. You should stay away from niches you have absolutely no interest in.

Do your research before choosing a niche. Remember, you don’t just want one that’s profitable, you want one that’s right for you.

Not Treating it Like a Business

You may be surprised at the number of people whose online businesses fail for simple lack of business know-how. They didn’t choose the wrong niche, and they may have even made a profit. But in the end, they had to shut it all down, often because they didn’t treat it like a business.

To build a sustainable business, you need a vision, a plan, a budget, mentors, a marketing plan, an operations model, a growth plan, strategy, research, time management, and the skills to manage your finances. That may sound like a lot, but those are just the basics.

If you don’t know anything about business and you’re not interested in how they operate, you shouldn’t start one. However, if you’re willing and ready to learn, then you’re one step closer to building your online empire. You don’t need a degree to understand the fundamentals of business; you just need a mind ready to learn.

Anyone can start an online business, and be successful, as long as they have the right motivation, knowledge, and mindset to get going. Look for genuine opportunities, find the best mentors, stay focused on your current objectives, be wholly committed, choose the right niche, and follow a business model that works.